Combustible Celluloid
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With: Antoine Monnier, Tina Irissari, Henri de Maublanc, Laetitia Carcano, Nicolas Deguy
Written by: Robert Bresson
Directed by: Robert Bresson
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: French with English subtitles
Running Time: 95
Date: 06/15/1977

The Devil, Probably (1977)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Personal Demons

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Even darker than Lancelot du Lac, but much clearer, The Devil, Probably (1977) is also Bresson's most overtly political film.

It focuses on Charles, an androgynous, nihilistic activist who wanders through life slowly rejecting everything, from psychoanalysis to money. He callously sleeps with two of his female friends at once and eventually decides on suicide. He hires a thug friend to pull the trigger, and Bresson shows him the ultimate injustice by cutting him off in mid-sentence.

The filmmaker intersperses little industrial films about the environment throughout, heightening the despair. It's probably Bresson's darkest and most difficult film, so it's recommended for those already familiar with his work.

As of 2003, the film was only available in the U.S.A. on a VHS videotape, released by New Yorker. It was also available as an import. It was restored and re-released theatrically in 2012, and Olive Films released a high-quality DVD in September. It has no extras, but comes highly recommended anyway.

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